An honest dialogue about love, life, and everything in-between...

Friday, November 30, 2012

'Shiny Object' Syndrome

Why some good men fall...

I was reading an amazing book by Alease Michelle McClenningham called Greatness is in the Comeback.  This book is all about rediscovering your purpose and developing an action plan to help move you into fulfilling that purpose. (A total generalized summary, but pick up the book, it's a good one).  Anyway, in the book she says that sometimes the reason people get distracted or can't focus on what they're supposed to be doing is because they have Shiny Object Syndrome: bouncing from one big idea, task, event, to the next without spending dedicated time to developing an idea to its full potential.  (Or something like that - haven't finished the book yet - but none the less follow me here).

While I was pondering, wondering, being baffled by, some of the bad relationship/partner decisions some people make, it brought me back to this idea of the Shiny Object Syndrome.  Essentially, how people use this as a distraction, hiding what is true and real about themselves, how seemingly good people end up with the wrong partner, and how good people can get 'caught up' in a bad situation.

I think men are the largest sufferers from this syndrome.  Think of all the bs men will put up with from a woman if she's 'shiny'.  In other words, if the woman is what he considers beautiful (shiny), they'll put up with more crazy, more lying, more drama.  They'll excuse her shortcomings (she's stupid, got too many kids by too many different guys, she can't cook, she can't clean, totally plastic - she can't really do anything but be cute).  

Now, the women who have all these shortcomings know this.  They know that men are visual and use this to their advantage.  Therefore, they spend the most time shining themselves up.  They weave it out, push it up, slather it on, trend it, spend it, until they are what most men find attractive.  Unfortunately for most women who use this to secure a man, the syndrome will leave them high and dry once a new shinier object crosses that man's path.  Remember, these women have no substance, so there's nothing to keep that man from following the next shiny object.  Even if she manages to 'trap' him. (And you all know what I mean by 'trap').

This syndrome is also the power weapon of the predatory chic.  She uses it to her advantage to lure good guys away from doing what they know is right with their big head, towards what the little head thinks it wants.  The predatory chic knows that with just the right combination of shiny, lowered inhibitions, and temptation, she can lure any good guy into her trap.  Thereby being part of the reason why good men can get caught up in cheating situations. Which is why I encourage guys NOT to put themselves into the situation in the first place. But we'll discuss the predatory chic at a later date.

Shiny Object Syndrome is real people.  Distractions are a part of life. But there should always come a point where we start focusing on what is truly good for us, and what we need, not only what we want. Ask yourself: Do you want to be in a serious relationship?  What do you really and truly want and need from a partner?  Is this person you are spending all this time with actually meeting your qualifications?  What are your qualifications?  We have to make sure we stay focused on what it is we are truly out here looking for.  With just a little bit of effort and careful risk-management, anyone can overcome the Shiny Object Syndrome. 


Professor Locs said...

First of all I am so glad you are writing again! I absolutely enjoyed this article because you translated and communicated Alease's metaphor beautifully.

The metaphor certainly can be applied to relationships which you illustrate very well but I like the fact that it can also be opened up and applied to other areas where we choose not to focus.

Keep the writing and the discussion going!

Miss_A said...

Thanks so much Professor Locs. I think this was a great metaphor that can be applied to any situation. Especially relationships.

And it doesn't have to be just when we start thinking about getting serious. If the only goal is to find a jump-off, then if you're focused enough you'll find someone to fit that role for you. Just be honest up front about what it is you're looking for. If we focus and be honest we'd have relationships with much less drama.

Thanks for the support. There are many more to follow!

Sara B said...

This is so true!! I have been there. Women tend to make ourselves who we think men want us to be. But in this process some women also fall victim to shiny object syndrome, so I think it is applicable to the ladies as well. We can be easily distracted by shiny objects too. Only the "shinyness" is evident in things like money, car, clothes, his way with words, "swag," if you will. And often we want to take the shiny object home, clean it up, even try to add a diamond or too sometimes. We look for the nice cars, clothes etc. And when he leaves, because he probably will, we gravitate towards other shiny objects that are just like the one before. We as women need to stop paying attention to things that don't matter and things that won't lead to a lasting relationship. Often women are looking for men to fill a void that only we ourselves can fill.

LoVe.Peace.Curls. said...

I really enjoyed this post! As you said, the syndrome is SO real...I've seen it happen with my own eyes, it's like the 80:20 rule on steroids sometimes....the sad part is that people will really ignore their true feelings, desires, and standards to chase shiny things. And I feel that that lack of acknowledgment is the downfall for so many connections that could have great endings.
I also agree with Sara B about women making themselves into what we think men want, and falling into the syndrome. It's really a vicious cycle.

Miss_A said...

Sara you are totally right. The Shiny Object Syndrome does apply to women as well in so many different ways. I will have to make sure to write a part 2 to explain how this affects women.